‘Little House on the Prairie’: Melissa Gilbert Responds to Fan Claims the Show Predicted the Coronavirus

Ever since the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic began, many people have been passing time at home watching vintage tv shows as they quarantine. One show that’s been a fan favorite during this time is Little House on the Prairie.

While reliving the America drama series, some fans have come across two chilling episodes that eerily foreshadow the current pandemic, which has left a few people feeling like they’re in the twilight zone.

'Little House of the Prairie' cast
Little House on the Prairie cast| NBCU Photo Bank

How two chilling episodes of ‘Little House on the Prairie’ foreshadowed the current coronavirus crisis

In 1975, Little House on the Prairie aired the tear-jerker episode “Plague,” which sees Charles Ingalls, played by Michael Landon, attempting to contain the outbreak of typhus in Walnut Grove, Minnesota. 

Ingalls, along with Walnut Grove’s pastor, Rev. Alden, and physician Doc Baker, turn the local church into a hospital to look after those infected.

As he’s helping those settlers who have fallen ill and searching for the origins of the disease, Ingalls becomes exposed to the outbreak and is left isolated from his family, as he doesn’t want to spread anything to them.

While viewers are immediately made aware this was a potentially disastrous situation, it takes dozens of heartbreaking deaths before the Ingalls family and others catch on to the fact that the polluted cornmeal is behind the outbreak.

Two years later, in 1977, the show aired an episode called “Quarantine,” during which the whole town goes into lockdown after there is an outbreak of mountain fever.  

Though both episodes aired more than 40 years, fans are convinced that Little House on the Prairie predicted the COVID-19 pandemic and recently took to social media to point out the eery similarities between the storylines and the grim reality of society’s current situation.

Melissa Gilbert sees the similarities between the episodes and the current pandemic

Back in April 2020, fans of Little House on the Prairie found themselves freaking out over the “Plague” and “Quarantine” episodes as they are convinced they predicted the coronavirus pandemic.

Many Twitter users pointed out the similarities between the episodes and the current pandemic, which has claimed thousands of people’s lives in America.

Even Little House on the Prairie star Melissa Gilbert, who played Laura Ingalls on the show from 1974–83, sees the parallels between the episodes and the pandemic, telling the New York Post that fans’ claims are “applicable.”

Melissa Gilbert
Melissa Gilbert | Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

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“I realized how prescient it was,” she said. “We can all learn something from what happens in that episode. Even on that tiny scale, so much of what they were doing is now applicable. The town mitigated the situation by getting everyone to quarantine at home, putting the sick in one place and trying to find the source.”

Gilbert continued, “Just like now, the residents of Walnut Grove were all in it together. They didn’t have the scientific advances we have or any kind of real treatment, but they bonded as a community to get through the crisis.”

Though “Plague” and “Quarantine” are more than 40 years old, Gilbert can see people taking valuable lessons away from the episodes and applying it to the nation’s current situation.

“It is incumbent on us to help,” says the actress. “Even if that is reading a book to someone who is shut in, running errands or even sending a letter to a person who is home and not expecting it. We have to find a way out of this together.”